They’re called the Chicago Bears, but the team hasn’t lived up to that name for a long time. The Bears were known as a physical and intimidating football team during their glory years. The kind of opponent people didn’t want to play. Over the past ten years, that reputation seemed to fall by the wayside. Some even called them not physical enough. Too passive and soft. Especially on the offensive side.
How does one remedy such an issue? GM Ryan Poles thinks he has a good idea. It comes by adding players that embrace the concept of violence and nastiness in their game. Or, and this is just an idea, maybe they just draft actual living bears to their roster. At least that is what ESPN thinks the team should do. During an NFL draft guide, they pinpointed Chicago’s two biggest roster needs going into next week’s draft. Offensive tackle was one of them, and they had the perfect solution in mind.
“And even if Jenkins enjoys a healthy 2022 season, the Bears are poised to start Larry Borom at right tackle. With a 4.7% blown pass block rate, the Day 3 rookie was the weak link of the team’s 2021 pass protection. No other Bears lineman with 200 or more pass snaps blew even 3.2% of his pass blocks.
Prospects who might fit: Daniel Faalele”
This is the first time the Minnesota standout has been connected to the Bears.
Remember that statement about drafting an actual bear? No player in this class embodies such an idea more than Faalele. The common grizzly bear is around 6’5 when standing on its back paws and weighs about 600 lbs. He is 6’8 and sits at 384 lbs. This is a literal mountain of a human being. It isn’t a surprise he uses that mass to his full advantage in the running game, blowing defenders off the ball. When he decides he wants to move somebody, there isn’t much they can do about it.
If you were in early on Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele, good eye! If you weren’t — pop on the tape. This right tackle is a former 4* recruit, listed at 6-foot-9 and 400 pounds and has got the quicks to cutoff inside on a 3T. pic.twitter.com/4SOv8MIswR
— Kyle Crabbs (@GrindingTheTape) June 11, 2020
This is likely (*hopefully*) the closest you’ll get to what 6’8” and 387 pounds feels like coming off the ball. Any report on @GopherFootball OL Daniel Faalele must include the words “engulfs” and “mauler”.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/JqBySJgec2
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 25, 2022
Alabama’s Evan Neal is OT1 to start the season.
My top senior OT? Minnesota’s mountain RT Daniel Faalele (full rankings: https://t.co/oJwRHxc6no)
6-8, 379 pounds with 35″ arms and 11 1/8″ anvil hands. pic.twitter.com/GQ61UplRlS
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) August 14, 2021
The concerns around Faalele are typical of those his size. Many experts worry about his mobility. It isn’t easy to move 380 lbs around with any sort of quickness or agility. That is what makes the initial idea of him fitting the Bears unusual. They’re about to employ the outside-zone offense, a system that is notorious for demanding mobility from its blockers. Drafting him wouldn’t make much sense in that regard.
Then again, the Chicago Bears may not have to worry.
Sure, the giant tackle may not be a ballerina, but there is enough evidence on tape to suggest that Faalele moves far better than he gets credit for. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com claimed he has good functional movement and had impressive quickness in his slide steps. The problem may not be his athleticism but his experience. He has only played organized football for four years.
His problems are more about technique and fundamentals. His hand-fighting is rough to watch at times, and he doesn’t always take full advantage of his ridiculous 35-inch arms. Also, keep this in mind. Poles was part of a Kansas City Chiefs organization that traded for Orlando Brown Jr. last season. A player with the same dimensions as Faalele and the same questions of athleticism. He has since made the Pro Bowl and functions more than fine at tackle.
With the right coaching, this hulking mammoth can play.
It comes down to whether the Chicago Bears think they need him. Remember, he’s seen exclusively as a right tackle. Recent developments at Halas Hall suggest Teven Jenkins might be moving back to that spot. If true, the team won’t need to fill it any longer. That would make Faalele an unnecessary pick.
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